The foundation

The Maecenata Foundation is an independent Think Tank specialising in civil society, civic engagement, philanthropy and foundations. It is a non-profit foundation under German civil law, based in Munich. Since 2015, all programmes have operated from the Foundation’s Berlin office. The Foundation manages and collates the activities of its programmes and publishes its stance on major issues. It sees itself as an impartial advisor to civil society and advocates its transnational empowerment as well as the development of an open society in Europe and beyond.

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1. MAECENATA INSTITUTE (MI) – Research and teaching
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2. TRANSNATIONAL GIVING (TG) – International donations
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3. TOCQUEVILLE FORUM (TF) – Networking and support
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4. MENA STUDY CENTRE – Research and debate
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Memberships and Affiliations

The International Society for Third-Sector Research
Through the Maecenata Institute, the Foundation is linked to the  International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR). In Autumn 2018, as is often the case, Rupert Strachwitz acted as a reviewer for the abstracts submitted for presentation at that year’s conference. The Institute also successfully applied for a roundtable on their research project on religious communities and civil society in Europe. Strachwitz and the Institute’s Deputy Director, Siri Hummel, participated in the conference in Montreal in 2022. >> Further information

Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea)
The Maecenata Foundation is a member of the Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea), an international association of foundations and socially committed companies that advocate for a foundation and donation-friendly legal and financial framework at the European level. The organisation’s goals and activities also include preparing and documenting the foundation and donation landscape, strengthening the third sector’s infrastructure, promoting cooperation, both between foundations themselves and between other actors, as well as promoting the common good in and outside of Europe. >> Further information


European and national working groups on AMLCFT
Since 2015, the Foundation has been involved in informal international and nationalworking groups that deal with issues to do with tax evasion, money laundering and financing of terrorism (AMLCFT) relevant for civil society organisations.

Berlin Governance Platform gGmbH (formerly Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform)
The Quelle Innovation Foundation, which is attached to the Maecenata Foundation, is a shareholder in the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform gGmbH (HVGP), which was founded in 2014 and renamed the Berlin Governance Platform gGmbH (BGP) in 2022. Its aim is to enable the Maecenata Foundation to actively participate in its work. The BGP aims to facilitate discourses between politics, science, civil society and business through so-called trialogues and thus promote political agendas. This corresponds to one of the main goals established during the Maecenata Foundation’s strategic reorientation. Its President is Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan. >> Further information 

Netzwerk Die Engagierten Europäer
The Foundation is a member of the network Die Engagierten Europäer (The Engaged Europeans’ Network) (EE), which includes a number of German foundations that are involved in European affairs. >> Further information

Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement
The Maecenata Foundation has traditionally held a close and trusting working relationship with the Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement (BBE) (the Federal Network for Civic Engagement), that goes beyond membership. Staff members of the Maecenata Institute are involved in the work of its Civil Society Research and International and Europe working groups,  and have published articles in the BBE’s newsletters and other publications. Dr Ansgar Klein, the BBE’s Managing Director, is one of the moderators of the Maecenata Institute’s Research Collegium.
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Bündnis für Gemeinnützigkeit
The Bündnis für Gemeinnützigkeit (Alliance for Charity) is a network of large umbrella organisations from civil society. Its aim is so strengthen organised civil society’s coherence, external impact and cooperative ability to act in relation to politics and administration. A number of experts, including the CEO of the Maecenata Foundation, are members of the advisory board. >> Further information

Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen
The Maecenata Foundation is a member of the Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (Federal Association of German Foundations), which represents the interests of charitable foundations in Germany. With over 4,300 members, it is the largest and oldest association of foundations in Europe. >> Further information

Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft
In 2011, the Maecenata Foundation was one of the initiators of the Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (Transparent Civil Society Initiative) (ITZ) and has been represented on its advisory board (Trägerkreis) ever since. CSOs may join the initiative by adopting a set of rules on transparency and submitting documentation to this effect. The initiative randomly checks compliance and is active in developing and disseminating the concept of transparency and public accountability within civil society. The Maecenata Foundation has also been a signatory of the initiative for many years. >> Further information

The Board

• Stefanie Wahl: since 2012 – Chairwoman since 2018
• Victoria Weber: since 2011
• Dr. Heike Kahl: since 2019
• Dr. Rolf Alter: seit 2022 (not in picture)

Our trustees: Victoria Weber, Stefanie Wahl, Dr Heike Kahl

• Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz: since 2011
• Dr. Felix Weber: since 2014

Our Board: Dr Rupert Graf Strachwitz and Dr Felix Weber

Associates and Fellows

Associated Academics

• Dr. Mareike Alscher: since 2016
• Dr. Nora Derbal: since 2012
• Dr. Henning v. Vieregge: since 2013

Maecenata Institute Fellows

• Prof. Dr. Thomas Adam: University of Texas at Arlington; since 2012
• Prof. Dr. Frank Adloff: Universität Hamburg; since 2012
• Dr. Elke Bojarra-Becker: Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik; since 2012
• Dr. Marwa El-Daly: American University Cairo; since 2012
• Thomas Ebermann, Dipl. Kfm.: Geschäftsführer Gutes Stiften GmbH; since 2012
• Prof. Dr. Eva Maria Hinterhuber: Hochschule Rhein-Waal; since 2010
• Dr. Philipp Hoelscher: Phineo gemeinnützige AG; since 2006
• PD Dr. Ansgar Klein: Geschäftsführer des BBE; since 2011
• Sabine Reimer, Dipl.-Soz.: Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft; since 2006
• Susanne Rindt, M.A.: Arbeiterwohlfahrt; since 2006
• Bernhard Matzak, M.A.: Tocqueville Forum; since 2022
• Dr. Rainer Sprengel: Bundesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement; since 2006
• Prof. Dr. Stefan Toepler: George Mason University; since 1997




Rupert Strachwitz

Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz
Member of the Maecenata Foundation’s Board

Head of the Tocqueville Forum
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